South Africa reopens borders as Covid19 cases decline
South Africa is reopening 20 land border crossings to allow normal travel from this week, lifting restrictions implemented last month to control rising coronavirus infections. This was revealed by the Home Affairs Ministry. The ministry said land border points, including those with Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Botswana, would reopen after being closed since 11 January.
Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi, who is to inspect the reopening of the Lebombo border post with Mozambique on Monday, said South Africa is working with neighboring countries to ensure simpler movements of people. Before the borders were closed in January, there were reports of problems at the immigration offices, including travelers using fake COVID-19 tests.
Anyone caught at a border post with a fake COVID-19 certificate will be barred from visiting South Africa for a period of at least five years, Motsoaledi said. South Africa’s COVID-19 numbers are declining, with 1,744 new infections and 78 deaths reported in the last 24 hours.
Schools had been shut in South Africa since December and were expected to reopen late last month, but the opening was delayed by two weeks due to an uptick virus infections. South Africa is due to begin vaccinations – starting with frontline health workers and other vulnerable groups – with a Johnson & Johnson vaccine, days after scrapping the AstraZeneca jab which was found to falter against the variant of the coronavirus dominant in the country.